By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”ACTING President Goodluck Jonathan will, today, perform the inauguration of the Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, comprising 38 ministers and other presidential aides including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF and the Head of Service of the Federation, HOSF, about a month after its dissolution.
Vanguard gathered that the event is scheduled for 12.00 noon at the Aso Chambers, also known as the Council Chambers of the Presidential villa, which also doubles as venue of the weekly EXCOF meeting.
Already a second confirmation message of the swearing-in ceremony, indicating the date and time of the event, has been relayed to all the affected would-be cabinet members; even as they have also been informed to limit the number of those that will accompany them to Aso Rock to two persons.
At press time, there was still scanty information on the allocation of portfolios as the Acting President was said to be holding the portfolio details to his chest. The situation has heightened tension among the 38 ministerial nominees recently screened by the National Assembly and confirmed to serve as ministers in a new cabinet.
It was learnt that despite speculations over the allocation of portfolios, many close aides of the Acting President may be in for a greater shock as their boss may have concluded plans to surprise them with the issue of portfolio.
Lobby by political godfathers
Vanguard gathered that the Acting Presidentâ€™s decision, followed intensive pressure and lobby by political godfathers who were bent on using some presidential aides to get or know the mind of Jonathan over the portfolio crises that is already pitching cabinet members against one another.
A source told Vanguard that the event was earlier billed for penultimate Wednesday, the day the weekly Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, meeting usually holds, but could not due to the delay in the screening subsequently caused by delay in the nomination.
Although the Acting President was earlier, scheduled to inaugurate the new cabinet last week, it was not possible following the delay.
As a result of the unforeseen delay, the Acting President was compelled to send the list of nominees in batches, and this undoubtedly also led to the delay in the screening exercise by the lawmakers; even as they had to hasten the exercise.